by Matt on June 24, 2013
With the spring planting mostly behind us, it’s time to catch up on all those random projects that need to be done around the homestead. There is a lot of cleaning, pickup, and general maintenance that needs to be done; but this weekend I had a small project I wanted to get done before we had some visitors over on Saturday afternoon.
In our front orchard area there is a maple tree that I have wanted to create a bed around for some time. The plan for this bed is to plant garlic, asparagus, and maybe a fenw other plants and vegetables if the mood strikes.
As you can see, the grass goes right up to the trunk. The first step was gathering the tools I was going to need: shovel, pitchfork, rake, wheelbarrow, ad bricks.
A few years ago Jen had picked up about 100 bricks off of the local free-cycle board. I hauled 34 over to the tree and began placing them on the ground. I wrapped a string around the tree and set a pair of bricks at about 40 inches from the trunk in all four directions. Then I began to fill in bricks trying to make a circle. It took a couple trips around to get the shape right. I ended up using 31 bricks.
I put cardboard down to help kill the grass and watered the card board down. Then I went back to the chicken manure compost pile and forked two wheelbarrow fulls of compost onto the cardboard. Finally, I went to our dirt pile and spread four wheelbarrow loads of dirt on top of the manure, being careful to keep both dirt and manure off of the base of the tree. Here is the final product:
I hope to eventually border all of the fruit trees and the strawberries in the orchard. Later this summer we plan on taking out the huge ugly locust tree and putting in a grape arbor. But one project at a time.
Have a great week.